Thursday, The Daily Caller reported another wave of layoffs at right-leaning site, Independent Journal Review (IJR).

IJR was already working with a skeleton staff before Thursday’s layoffs.

From TDC:

The Independent Journal Review (IJR) terminated a number of its employees on Thursday, leaving an unclear future for the millennial-focused conservative website that has recently faced a declining audience and internal strife, several employees told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Employees received notice about their termination Thursday morning via email, according to multiple recently laid-off IJR staffers. Another source inside the company told TheDCNF a total of 15 positions were terminated — a massive blow to the already skeleton staff.

A number of veteran employees were also allegedly included in the mass layoffs. One source said that eliminations hit virtually every department at the company.

Fired IJR employees who spoke to TheDCNF on the condition of anonymity say there was no indication the layoffs were coming.

A new kid on the conservative media block IJR made waves with their viral content, some of which we shared here at LI. Their model relied heavily on Facebook sharing. Early on, and back in the days when clickbait was all the rage, the site “cracked” Facebook’s algorithm, garnering unbelievable amounts of traffic as a result. The site still describes itself as, “a social first, mobile first news company serving millions of Americans each day with shareable, informative and mobile friendly content.”

Social media algorithm changes and having a Republican in the oval office have inflicted wounds on many a right-leaning web publication since November of 2016:

https://www.axios.com/analysis-conservative-media-traffic-slump-1513306399-67a04778-6f84-4988-9f9a-07f4a85fb1c4.html

But that’s the trouble with creating a business that relies wholly upon a separate, independent business model remaining completely static.

IJR is not alone in their struggle to acquire clicks through social media channels, Buzzfeed, another site whose hallmark is (or was) viral content, has failed to reach their web traffic goals (read also: ad revenue goals) and is suffering from a steady decline in page views since its heyday just a few years ago.

An article published in Business Insider less than two years ago waxed poetic about Buzzfeed’s ability to leverage social media platforms to obtain about 75% of their traffic. But an article published by recode in November discussed Buzzfeed’s troubles:

…but BuzzFeed has seen its web traffic decline.

The company announced layoffs yesterday after missing revenue targets. A rep for BuzzFeed, which has long focused its business on advertising that travels across the web on sites like Facebook — but is increasingly trying to generate revenue from its own site — said the layoffs are “completely unrelated” and that its audience is “a major asset.”

…unique visitors to BuzzFeed’s website have been falling over the last two years. It saw 69.8 million U.S. readers in October, a 10 percent drop from the 77.4 million readers it drew in October 2016, and a 12 percent drop from 2015 when it had 79.3 million readers, according to comScore data.

Facebook’s metamorphosis into a pay to play outfit for publishers, coupled with their fake news problems during the 2016 election cycle has created a distrust of news shared on the social media behemoth. As a result, readers are taking their clicks to so-called legacy publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“You won’t believe what happened when this ladybug landed on a window!” type headlines had a finite shelf life. They were a fun soiree into a different medium of publication, and an interesting experiment in human curiosity, but in the end, traditional news delivery wins. For now, anyway.